The 40th Comparative Drama Conference held its last event in Baltimore from March 31 to April 2, before it will move to Orlando, Fla., according to Dr. Laura Snyder, director of the Comparative Drama Conference and professor of English at Stevenson.
Held at the Pier 5 Hotel located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the conference is an international, interdisciplinary conference held every year, according to Snyder. The conference brings together about 250 scholars of theater and drama, and 175 of these attendees present their ideas and new research.
Scholars submitted their papers in the beginning of December 2015 to 25 representatives and board members. The representatives critically examine the submissions and select the strongest papers for presentation at the conference.
After the papers are selected, they are arranged into three-person panels by Snyder based on topics and/or themes. Each 90-minute panel gave each scholar-presenter 15 minutes to present research. There were five to six concurrent sessions every 90 minutes.
Scholars from different universities around the world attended the conference. According to the conference website, participants from “32 nations and all 50 states” have attended the conference over the past 40 years.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT 2016 CONFERENCE
Playwright Tony Kushner was the keynote speaker at this year’s conference. Kushner is known for his plays, “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism” and “Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures” and his two-part play, “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes.” He won the 2013 National Medal of Arts, and is also known for writing the screenplay for Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” which won the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Boston Society of Films Critics Award, and the Chicago Film Critics Award, according to the conference website.
“Anyone who loves theater or screenplays, this is the place you want to go,” said Snyder. This conference was her last as the director, a role which she has served for five years. Snyder said she enjoyed her time as the director and appreciated the support from Stevenson University, which sponsored the last conference in Baltimore before the event moves to Rolland College in Orlando, Fla.